b3ta.com user akzidenz grotesk
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(Tue 11th Sep 2007, 12:55, More)

(Mon 10th Sep 2007, 9:22, More)

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(Wed 14th Mar 2007, 11:42, More)

there goes the neighbourhood

1kb over. just to look hard.
(Fri 6th Oct 2006, 16:09, More)


(Fri 29th Sep 2006, 15:55, More)

Best answers to questions:

» Picky Eaters

my exotic feature...
I was a plump and swarthy child with eyes of a somewhat oriental nature.

This did not go unnoticed by my peers at secondary school. By the end of my first term I had grown accustomed to hearing them warn one another to ‘mind the slope’ and I knew that should the teacher try to coax me into speaking before the class then my voice would be drowned out by merciless cries of ‘ah-so’ and ‘one cuppa cha’. However, during the course of one particularly abusive period of C.S., I found myself frustrated to the point of no return. I stood up, looked at the most insistent of the wags and thundered, “you shouldn’t say that!” Met by the silent glare of numerous eyes I felt my cheeks flush with embarrassment and my chubby fingers itch with sweat. How could I return to my seat having tried and failed so pathetically? I swallowed hard, cleared my mind and fixed my gaze on some far-off place in the distance. Then I told a lie which changed my life forever: “I am half-Chinese!”

The weeks that followed were without question the best that I would ever experience during full-time education. Not only had I seized some sort of moral victory, but I became something of a cultural phenomenon at my rather white and middle-class school. Aided by nights of research rather than homework, I became a leading local authority on all things kung-fu related – even guaranteeing some of my former tormenters that an uncle in Hong Kong would send over some nunchukas and ninja-stars, or as I sagely referred to them, ‘nunchaku’ and ‘hira shuriken’.

The term rolled by until it was time for parent’s evening. This was to be no problem for me – or so I thought, as I had already explained that my father was English, hence my surname, and my mother – my real mother that is – had been a Chinese revolutionary exiled to the UK in the 1970s. She had, I said, been imprisoned by the Chinese government after returning home to visit family and had subsequently died in a squalid jail in the Shandong region. “My father’s stupid new wife doesn’t know her shaobing from her xiao long bao,” I would often mournfully lament.

Alas, too many evenings spent memorizing dishes from the Chinese takeaway menu and scrutinizing the martial-arts equipment advertised in the back-pages of CVG lead my grades to plummet. Mr. Fothergill, a concerned geography/PE teacher, leaned across the desk to deal the deadly blow. “I just wonder if this could be related to grief,” he delicately speculated. “Grief?” asked my perplexed parents in unison. At this point I fled the scene, electing instead to wait outside and pray for Mr. Fothergill to be suddenly rendered speechless by some crippling disease or for the whole sorry mess to be overshadowed by nuclear annihilation. Needless to say, I was not to be so lucky. My mother sped from the school weeping uncontrollably, followed by my quietly furious father. I had never felt so ashamed.

From that day to this, I have no stomach for Chinese food. Each and every bite will for me always be as bitter as a loving mother’s tears.

Sorry Mummy, wherever you are...
(Sat 3rd Mar 2007, 10:52, More)

» Strict Parents

Dads know best...
I was a tense and neurotic child.

I wouldn’t describe Mr. Father as strict. No. I own both a dictionary and a thesaurus. Perverse, sadistic and irrational are far more apt terms for the lengths Mr. Father would take to stifle my pint-sized pursuit of happiness.

He told me that I should never pick my nose or put my fingers in my mouth. Not for reasons of good manners or hygiene, but because it would inevitably lead to irreversible ‘spastic hands’. Apparently a former colleague of Mr. Father used to bite his nails, developed said condition and was promptly relieved of his duties. He ended up living under the flyover eating old chips out of the gutter on account of his stricken digits.

A similar fate awaited me and my feet if I continued to wear socks in bed. Mr. Father helpfully explained that such unnecessary attire would most definitely cause my toes to fuse together, thus leaving me with amorphous lumps of meat hanging from the ends of my legs.

Mr. Father said that eating white bread and biscuits would render me incapable of opening my bowel and that he would then have to send me to ‘a doctor’ who would open it for me. Conversely, consuming too much fruit or even a solitary peanut would leave me unable to hold anything in.

Hence I waddled through my formative years with a colon packed so tightly with super-dense faecal matter that my waistline became comparable to an event-horizon. Merely unbuckling my belt could suck the light from a room and gassy emissions had been known to draw planets out of orbit. To this day I have a grossly oversized large intestine which ripples like a steroid-chomping strongman’s arm.

Other memorable parenting tactics were to advise me to go to sleep as quickly as possible because a child falling asleep after midnight would often never wake up. Also I had to be quiet, as failing to hear one’s own heartbeat would likely cause it to stop.

A few years ago I reminded Mr. Father of these pearls of wisdom so kindly entrusted to me.

Oh, how he laughed...
(Fri 9th Mar 2007, 9:23, More)